As someone who has been following NASCAR since the late 1980s, it is very easy for me to see how the struggling economy has affected NASCAR.  It used to be that a race team got a sponsor and kept it for years, only changing the colors for special paint schemes.  Now it seems that even the well-financed teams have to juggle sponsors to make it through the season.  I know that teams are desperate for sponsors, so let me make this clear up front: My comments are in no way aimed at the drivers or teams.  The teams are grateful for and desperately need every sponsor dollar that comes in.  The pictures below merely show some sponsors that should have thought twice before sinking big money into NASCAR.

Charter Communications hasn’t turned a profit since the company went public in 1999.  Company stock hasn’t traded above five dollars since 2004, and they are near the bottom of the heap in customer satisfaction ratings.  It came as no surprise when Charter filed for Chapter 11 in Feb. 2009.  The above paint scheme ran at Nashville in April, less than two months after the communications giant entered bankruptcy.  The worst of it is that this was the second time Charter sponsored a race car in 2009, as they also sponsored a Cup car in February.  FAIL, FAIL and FAIL again.

Should a company that has asked the government for help shouldering 306 billion in "troubled assets" be sponsoring a Nationwide car?  Umm…  NO.  Citigroup received not one, but TWO bailouts in 2008 and yet they still continue to dump funds into racing.  I’d be willing to bet there were Citigroup executives in the skyboxes at nearly every race who flew in on private jets.  However, I have to give them some credit, as they did choose to invest in the more thrifty Nationwide series instead of Sprint Cup – probably saves them a cool mil every year.  EPIC FAIL.